The following is a news release from Office of the Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell:
Lake Charles - A Lake Charles mother and daughter are accused of stealing more than $61,000 over the course of one year while employed at a local group home, announced Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.
LaShone Atrice Bushnell, 25, of Lake Charles, arrested on July 19 by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Calcasieu Sheriff's Office, was charged with one count of felony theft by fraud for allegedly cashing fraudulent checks from the accounts of 62 different residents of the group home.
Bushnell's mother, Alnetter Pouchie, 47, of Lake Charles, surrendered for arrest today and was also charged regarding her involvement in the theft.
Pouchie was the bookkeeper and sole staff member tasked with the management of the funds and resident expenditures during the time of the thefts.
The State alleges that Bushnell would pick up the fraudulent checks from her mother, then endorse and cash the checks at a local check cashing facility.
She would return the money to her mother and they would split the proceeds between them.
The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit opened an investigation concerning the theft of money from accounts belonging to a Lake Charles group home after an internal audit identified 157 checks that were fraudulently created and negotiated from June 2008 to June 2009.
The fraudulent checks, created while Bushnell and Pouchie were employed at the group home, resulted in the theft of $61,502 from the residents' accounts. If convicted, both could face up to ten years in prison.